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Understandings Of Growth #1
For those loyal audience, you know this is the podcast where my wife and I live life. As we hear something, say something or are part of something that is impactful to a business owner, we jot it down and make sure we podcast on it. This is a little bit different. I’m embarking on a six-part series. I’m calling this Six Understandings of Growth. This is due to we’re coming up on a little bit of a speaking circuit and I’m also tweaking the end of my book that’s five years in the making. We are adding a little section called the Six Understandings of Growth. It’s going to be the close of what I speak on. When it all is said and done, it takes a lot to grow a company. For those of you that follow know that we’re a five-time Inc. 5000 company. I just filled out the application for the sixth Inc. 5000 application. That means nothing more than over the past four years, we’re going to apply to see if we are growing faster than most of the eighteen million US companies. For the last several years, we have been growing faster than all but about a thousand.
We as children don't necessarily listen to what our parents say, but we watch what they do. Click To Tweet
In 2019, we’ve grown at the exact same rate again so I’m assuming we’re going to hit the list again for the sixth time and away we go. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching. We’ve done three different products over a decade, a completely new management offices in different countries, 150-plus employees and we’re still growing at a ballistic pace. Are there subtle things that maybe I don’t think too much about that are partly responsible for our consistent growth? After a few months of making a notation, every time one of these six things was mentioned, it turns out there are a few things. I’m going to do a six-part series. Each part is very short, but when you add them together, this in and of itself could be its own standalone book, let alone a video series or something like that.
This is called the Six Understandings of Growth. The first understanding on this episode is the understanding that belief and faith must be based on things unseen, not seen. When it comes to business growth, most companies want to try to grow 10% or 20%, let’s say you want a double, maybe you want to triple. The belief and the faith that you can, logically can’t be based on things you’ve seen. You may have in the past seen 10% or 20% growth that’s why your human nature says, “Let’s grow 10% or 20%.” To grow in a way you’ve never grown before, you obviously haven’t seen it, you have to believe and have faith in some things that are unseen. To give you a little bit of a core of my mindset here, I’m going to bring back one of my favorites, Brian Tracy. Brian Tracy has a phenomenal book called The Psychology of Selling in which he spends a pretty good amount of time talking about an income barometer.
I’m going to take this to another level because I’ve studied this for twenty years. A person and an individual has an income barometer, but a company also has an income barometer. It’s closely related to the person. Let me cover the personal income barometer so you can get an idea of what I mean by belief in faith must be based on the unseen. I’ll tie the two together at the end. Let’s talk about this. An income barometer says, if you go to the five people closest to you and say, “How much do you see yourself making in two to five years?” and you write down their answer, you are going to be shocked to find out if you call them two to five years later. They’re probably going to make what they thought they were going to make. I did this test several years ago and there was a previous episode where I give you the details. I went to the five buddies of mine that I went to high school with and interviewed him. I wrote down a date five years from now and I remember I wrote down and put it in my little Excel spreadsheet. I wrote a clock, a timer.
I called these folks back several years later and sure enough one of the guys said something like, “I don’t even know what I’m going to be doing.” He was unemployed. One guy said he’s going to be working for a big company in engineering making $100,000. He was making $105,000. One buddy named Jeff said, “I’m not sure, but I’m probably going to take over my dad’s company. Put me down for $250,000.” Sure enough, he bought his dad’s company. The year before I called him, he made about $230,000. I remember one guy said he’s going to go into insurance, they make a lot of money if you can do the hard work. He had been really busted into hard for three to four years. He just got his own company and made within 10% of what he thought he was going to make. It was an extreme number. All five were within 10% of what they had said.
I’m going to ask you, what do you think you’re going to make in two years, in five years? I want you to write that down and I want you to understand what goes into your number. What goes into your number is everything that has gone into you up until this point. I’m going to shock a lot of people here. There was another study done and I think it’s been done twice, 30 years apart. Did you know that when you look at your family tree and you say, “Who is the trunk of your family tree?” When I look at mine, I think of my grandfather who passed away. The big branches are his kids, my dad, aunts and uncles. Then there are their branches which is me. Then there are the mini-branches, my kids, etc. In history, when you evaluate an income based on a family tree, did you know that the bigger branches are making plus or minus 15% of the trunk? Did you know that adjusted for inflation, the mini-branches off the bigger branches make plus or minus 15% of the bigger branches? It cascades down.
The concept is we as children don’t necessarily listen to what our parents say, but we watch what they do. There’s the great example of the mom who smokes and says, “Don’t smoke. It’s terrible. I got lung cancer.” What does the kid end up doing? He ends up smoking. He doesn’t hear a word his mom says. He watches what she does. In the world of business, in the world of making money, we live life and we watch everybody we’re close to. It starts with our parents, then the five people closest to you. Indeed I promise you, you are going to make plus or minus 10% to 15%, the five people closest to you and then of course whoever raised you. It just is what it is.
You are going to end up earning what you believe you're worth. Click To Tweet
Here’s the key with the income barometer. You have the ability. If you change what you believe in and you change your degree of faith, which is belief in the unseen. You start taking risks that are uncomfortable and this is a key factor here, and you become risk-tolerant. You can condition yourself over a one to five-year period of time to literally cut your branch of the tree off and literally plant it in the ground like a Weeping Willow. I don’t know if you know this, you can cut the branch off a Weeping Willow, drill a hole in the ground with a drill, stick it in, put some water in and literally come back six weeks later and you have a Weeping Willow tree. No roots. It grows its own roots. It’s like that. It’s been proven over the course of millennia that people that leave their family trees’ belief structure and faith structure of their income barometer of what they’re worth and what they’re going to be and they dream big and they work diligently, they physically change the course of their destiny.
My wife and I have done this. I know many people had done this where we are so far off the foundation of what our family believes is possible to what we believe is possible. We physically broke. My wife did a podcast about what our grandmother told us one time when we were talking about dreaming big and winning contests and things like that. She tried to put us in our place. My wife looked at grandma and said, “Sorry, we don’t believe that.” The rest is history. The first silent understanding is the understanding that when it comes to growing big and fast, your belief and your faith in what you’re capable of doing, what your company is capable of doing, it must be rooted in the unseen. Meaning your company’s probably never done it before. Here’s the key, where you get solace is if you know there are other companies that have grown two times, five times, ten times or 100 times.
There are companies that have hit the Inc. 5000 list that have grown 1,000% ten years in a row. All the famous companies have done it, Amazon, Zappos, TOMS Shoes, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Burger King. All these companies have grown mega fold twenty years in a row. If they can do it, why can’t you? You have to plow your own ground. For those of you that want a deep understanding of this, please go get the book, The Psychology of Selling. Read the whole book cover to cover, read it twice. Once with the yellow highlighter and once with an orange highlighter. Make sure you put a month or two gap between the two reads because you’ll have grown between those two readings. The stuff’s going to hit you the second time that you just blindly missed the first time. At that moment, after two times of reading it, you will really understand and embrace you do have an income barometer. You are going to end up earning what you believe you’re worth.
Your company is going to make what you believe it should be making. The only one in control of the gross revenues of your personal bank account and the gross revenues of your company’s bank account is you, the leader. The only thing that can stop you is you. Not a competitor, not a lack of funds, not a lack of a business plan, not a lack of people that believe in you. It’s simply you and your income barometer and understanding that your belief and faith must be rooted in the unseen. If you’re not 100% following, please get the book, The Psychology of Selling, and give it a read. I hope this helps. Take care.